Squamish is one of those tricky kite spots especially for new riders and can be quite intimidating to kite here for the first time. We have come up with a few tricks to help make your first experience here a good one.
TALK TO THE LOCALS
When you arrive in Squamish make sure you introduce yourself to the SWS staff and the Kite surfing Squamish locals. Let them know you are new and they will make sure you know all the rules as well as about all the different obstacles we have around. You can also stop by the shop and we are more than happy to help you out with any questions you might have.
KNOW THE WIND
The wind in Squamish is almost always strong through the summer. Wind Finder is NOT a reliable forecaster. Check the Howe Sound Marine Forecast or check the temperature gradient (if it is hotter in the north than the sound it will very likely be windy). In general, if it’s sunny, it’s windy. Checking the wind over the past few days is also a good indicator of what the wind strength will be.
If there are lots of stormy clouds or a forecast of rain, there are chances of gusty wind, though it is still possible to kite.
THE WIND BLOWS OFFSHORE
One of the most important things to know about kite surfing Squamish is that the wind blows offshore. This means that you MUST be able to ride up wind, retrieve your board and perform a self rescue in order to ride here. If you are unable to do these things it’s important to take a lesson.
Be careful riding in the river- especially at low tide. The rider flows in the opposite direction of the wind making the apparent wind much stronger when riding in there. It’s best not to lose your board in the river as it gets dragged upwind faster than you can body drag. This is the most common way boards get lost while kite surfing Squamish. Newer riders are better staying out of the river.
LEARN THE RULES AT THE SPIT
Since the spit is such a small area, there are rules on how you need to use the space. There rules can be found on the SWS website. Everyone launches and lands very close to each other and especially on weekends, there is no room for error.
TRY AN UPWIND DROP
If you are a new rider, you might want to opt in for an upwind drop. You will get shuttled out with an instructor and dropped off upwind. Here you will be away from all the other kiters and if something goes wrong you have time to recover before crashing into rocks, ships or the estuary. The instructor will continue with their lesson and pick you up at the end. If you need extra help during this time our staff will try to keep an eye on you. This service is meant for people who are newly independent and shouldn’t need extra help, but is great for people nervous to use the spit.
TAKE A LESSON
If you are not an independent rider you MUST take a lesson. If you are new to the area and are nervous about going to the spit for the first time we are happy to give you a lesson from the spit for your first day to help you feel less nervous and show you the ropes.
We hope this helps give you a little more knowledge about kite surfing Squamish and we hope to see you out there soon!!